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For much of its recent history, the Scotties tissues brand was treated like used Kleenex.

Former Scott Tissue Co. CEO "Chainsaw Al" Dunlop slashed marketing budgets. Kimberly-Clark Corp., forced by antitrust regulators to spin off Scotties when it acquired Scott, killed the brand's distribution in the West before selling it in 1996.

Then, under new owner Irving Tissue, the brand found a home.

Dollar market share more than doubled from a low of 2.8% in the first quarter of 1997 to 5.9% in the fourth quarter of 1998, according to Salomon Smith Barney. Sales were up 28% to $60 million in 1998. And the brand is now reaching double-digit volume share levels rivaling the best in its 60-year history, says Robert Higgins, who as president heads the team of Scott veterans running the brand.

"The brand had to be fixed from the inside out, starting with the product quality," says Mr. Higgins, 53.

So Irving rolled out a softer, three-ply tissue, revamped box designs, repositioned the brand as "hypoallergenic" and stepped up marketing with magazine ads and newspaper and in-store coupons, using Articus, Philadelphia, for design work and Mars Advertising, Southfield, Mich., for promotion.

"The reason the brand has been so successful," Mr. Higgins says, "is that it has been our primary focus, whereas in its past life, it was just one of many brands.

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